Top State Stories 9/14
SC: South Carolina: Safer to keep inmates in prison than evacuate them
South Carolina doesn’t plan to move inmates at a medium-security prison located within South Carolina’s storm evacuation zone, saying it’s safer for the prisoners to stay.
NC: North Carolina has a big rainy day fund. It’s about to start raining.
As Hurricane Florence approaches, North Carolina’s state government has more money in its savings account than it had in past storms — and a higher share of savings than the governments of Virginia and South Carolina, which will also be affected by the storm.
TX: Texas company gets $300 million loan for bullet train
Texas Central Partners has secured a $300 million loan to continue its pursuit of a new 240-mile high-speed rail route from downtown Dallas to Houston. It would be the first high-speed rail in the United States.
NJ: New Jersey vote-by-mail law confuses voters, election staff
Letters sent out to explain a new law that automatically signs up some voters for vote-by-mail ballots are causing confusion across New Jersey.
ME: Maine governor successfully blocks request for additional money for November elections
Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage scored one last veto victory, successfully blocking a request from the Secretary of State’s Office for more than $300,000 to cover additional costs headed into the November elections.
NE: Sales taxes eyed to fund Nebraska property tax relief
Nebraska’s long list of state sales tax exemptions was identified as the best potential revenue source to help fund substantial local property tax relief during a legislative forum.
NC, SC: ICE won’t arrest or detain evacuees in the Carolinas escaping from Hurricane Florence
Immigrants in North Carolina and South Carolina shouldn’t worry about being arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as they evacuate their homes or at the emergency shelters, an ICE official said.
AL: The changing economics of giving birth in Alabama
In the next few months, Alabama plans to allow certified professional midwives to deliver babies again, by starting to license them.
MS: Mississippi high court affirms governor’s budget-cut power
The Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed the governor’s power to make midyear state budget cuts.
GA: Battle over when to start school in Georgia begins again
A Georgia Senate committee has reignited an old fight by convening to determine if it’s feasible to start school after Labor Day.
OR: Wanted: New Oregon Supreme Court justice
Democratic Gov. Kate Brown announced she’s accepting applications to fill a pending vacancy on the Oregon Supreme Court, created by the retirement of Justice Rives Kistler.
NM: New Mexico observatory shuttered for security reasons
The National Solar Observatory in New Mexico has been unexpectedly closed due to an unnamed “security issue,” prompting evacuations and a visit from the FBI.
MT: Record budget for Montana universities keeps tuition unchanged
The Montana Board of Regents approved a record $1.56 billion budget for public universities across the state, ensuring there will be no tuition increase.
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